Pharmacological Treatment of Schizophrenia: a Fifty-Year Review

Kermit Cole
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Researchers in the U.S. and India reviewed the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia since its introduction 50 years ago, trying to understand why it “remains a chronic, relapsing condition with poor long-term outcomes.” They conclude that schizophrenia treatment addresses symptoms (“tertiary prevention”), not causes, and that “the future of the pharmcotherapy of schizophrenia looks bleak.” The study appears in Mens Sana.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

4 COMMENTS

  1. This article is horrific in that it is a great example of the all the EUGENICS bogus articles appearing everywhere to push the latest fraud DSM5 thanks to the latest EUGENICS research promoted by Dr. Thomas Insel that Robert Whitaker addressed in his blog. Notice this article refers to the usual unproven genetic theories of the nasty garbage can stigma of schizophrenia while passing them off as if they are proven science. The fact that pretreatment for this so called “disease” seems to have taken hold is all the more frightening while these authors admit is is useless and comparable to treating fever symptoms without finding the cause. They don’t seem to address the brain damaging and deadly effects of neuroleptic drug poisons either.

    As Dr. Jay Joseph exposes in his great books, THE GENE ILLUSION and THE MISSING GENE, as have many others (See PSEUDOSCIENCE IN BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY book), no genes will be found since the causes are environmental and most frequently due to social injustice, inequalities, discrimination, life crises, emotional/trauma injuries, etc. Dr. Joseph rightly suggests these theories are perpetrated by the right wing agenda to maintain the unequal status quo and the power elite while blaming the victims of their narcissistic entitlement while profiting from the suffering they inflict.

    It is also sickening that the authors claim that such common human suffering is a mere “trigger” for the so called mental illness the victim supposedly has to blame the victim though there is no proof whatever to support this evil lie. It is unfortunate that this article mostly lives up to Dr. Thomas Szasz’s book, PSYCHIATRY: THE SCIENCE OF LIES. It appears to be another sickening attempt to justify more wasted billions on the futile self serving EUGENICS research to promote new bogus claims to create and push more lethal torture treatments for those given this life destroying fraud stigma when suffering from a life crisis. Talk about a huge betrayal by so called mental “health” experts. Of course, they never specify whose health is addressed, but it is certainly not the health of those they stigmatize, but rather the health of the BIG PHARMA/BUSINESS/PSYCHIATRY pathocracy with its neverending expanding tentacles to pull every human into its web of deadly deceit.

    The one bright spot is the admission that poison neuroleptic drugs don’t work with the implication these unfortunate people would be better off left alone by psychiatry as is the case of those in third world countries not preyed on by biological psychiatry. But, I am sure they will continue to perpetrate the lie that the so called benefits of their torture treatments outweigh the “side effects” of permanent disability and early death.

    Their claim that those so labelled never recover with or without their intervention is a bold face evil lie!!

  2. Impressive how easily the authors give up on primary prevention, and blame the deterioration of the patients’ “disease” rather than the treatments they receive. Apparently the author has not read Bob Whitaker’s book or has not read the underlying research that supports it. When the recovery rates are inversely related to the treatment received, blaming the recipient is no longer a viable option.

    It should be clear also, even if stress is viewed as a “trigger,” which is a debatable proposition, that primary prevention lies in the removal of such “triggers” from the experience of the victims, and that secondary prevention deals with ameliorating the impact of such trauma that “triggered” the psychosis. The Open Dialog model in Finland proves that such secondary prevention is very realistic.

    I support the author’s finding that psychopharmacology’s future as a treatment is bleak. But it seems like these guys have given up completely, feeling that psychopharmacology is the only path to travel.

  3. “I support the author’s finding that psychopharmacology’s future as a treatment is bleak. But it seems like these guys have given up completely, feeling that psychopharmacology is the only path to travel.”

    And yet how much do you want to bet that most, if not all, will just ignore this study in the same way they ignore people like Whitaker and Breggin, with the understanding that “They must just be against drug treatment for mental disorders.”

    • This studdy confirms what Robert Whitaker is saying: isn’t it a good thing and further proof that those who treat people only with drugs are in the wrong? Maybe old psychiatrists are not able to change but, like Dr H Middleton is saying in his article on this blog (13 02 2012), the young ones he teaches have difficulty in believing that mental illness is just the same as any other illness. May be we should be working on the young up-coming psychiatrists then, to stop them making the same mistakes as their elders.

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